Finding The GOAT: Big Boi vs. Prodigy…Who You Got?
As we continue the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time), we are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into consideration, pairing special match-ups in a sequence not unlike March Madness. For the next several months, we will roll out battles, starting with artists from similar eras paired against one another, until one undisputed King or Queen of the microphone reigns supreme.
The next two MCs to square-off have entirely different demeanors on the record, despite having extremely parallel careers: Big Boi and Prodigy. These men built groups to last as long as the pyramids and then cultivated solo careers that examined their own unique identities outside of their respective duos. Two visionaries, one deals in bright colors and endless possibility, while another takes the darker, bleeker side of things, and turns it into a Hitchcock film over 16 bar-verses. Listen to these similar icon’s music, message and read up on their impact before casting your vote.
For 20 years, Big Boi has been at the top of Rap’s food-chain for his originality, versatility, and failure to ever stagnate creatively. With two (official) solo albums under his belt, Daddy Fat Sax’s impact within Hip-Hop is largely held to his co-founding status within Outkast. Joined on songs by Andre 3000, both MCs’ skills were often eclipsed by each other, given the group’s other-wordly approach to music. Big carefully balanced the streets with outer-space in his realm, rapping about the world both as it is, as well as it could be.
One of the genre’s top fast-rappers, Big Boi delivers words with a machine gun precision, never needing to stutter as a guise. Instead, the elevated Atlanta, Georgia MC/producer was the perfect bridge between MC Shy-D and T.I. Big’s verses were never preachy or aimed at the mainstream, somehow he simply ended up there through consistency and applying his messages to simply amazing music. With Big’s vocal strengths, he’s been able to rap on anything, from Jungle percussion to prohibition-era-styled tracks to downright Trap.
Like MC Ren, Willie D, Inspectah Deck, or Trugoy, sometimes Big Boi’s talents are downplayed compared to his band-mate. Mr. Patton however, is among the working active GOATs. He continues to mentor artists, ranging from Killer Mike to Janelle Monae, and rather than just make Hip-Hop, Big Boi has dedicated himself to bringing Rap to simply making great music. From Funk to Crunk, R&B to Rock & Roll, this is an artist who has made albums unpredictable, exciting, and highly-replayable since long before the digital age.
Other Notable Tracks:
With a grim demeanor, Prodigy has become one of Hip-Hop’s most influential artists. The Mobb Deep co-founder has indeed began as a “poetical prophet,” from his days in Queens. Formally trained in the arts, P (also an author) has drawn vivid images in his raps, that tell the stories of the hopeless, depressed, and inherently violent. Prodigy spoke on a bygone New York City that was not safe after dark, and his strict cadence and smoky voice added to the effect.
Prodigy’s microphone persona and conversational flow have made him one of the brightest stars of the 1990s, and an MC who adapted well into the 2000s. The MC influenced 50 Cent, Beanie Sigel, and others in his ability to provide true, fearless commentary of life (and the industry) as he saw it, while still showcasing tenants of skill. In album-making (both group and solo), Prodigy has thrived in delivering cohesive messages, as trends, sounds, and personnel has changed. The MC has become highly sought-after, from peers ranging from Black Moon, to Nas, to LL Cool J, to Raekwon. With an opportunity, the self-proclaimed H.N.I.C. guns for his ranking.
With over 20 years of music, Prodigy has stayed the course and been highly prolific, despite label moves and incarceration. Never fearing a loss, P’s verses, at times, have been aimed at icons ranging from 2Pac and Jay Z, to many of his own Q.B. cohorts, and even a high-profile, short-lived beef with his band-mate. With no catering to image or diplomacy, Prodigy has always been an iron-headed MC whose bulldozed his way into the GOAT conversation.
Other Notable Tracks:
So…who you got?
Voting For Round 1 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets